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Instagram’s Threads: all the updates on the new Twitter competitor

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As Twitter continues to flail about under Elon Musk, all eyes are on the newly launched Instagram Threads as a potential replacement. Meta launched Threads on iOS, Android, and the web on July 5th — a little bit ahead of schedule.

Two days in, Mark Zuckerberg said Threads has registered over 70 million accounts, and it’s still growing.

In an interview about Threads with The Verge, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri explains why the platform wants to take on Twitter. “Obviously, Twitter pioneered the space,” Mosseri says. “And there are a lot of good offerings out there for public conversations. But just given everything that was going on, we thought there was an opportunity to build something that was open and something that was good for the community that was already using Instagram.”

Rumors about the new Meta-owned platform were swirling for months, with a March report from Platformer revealing the company was “exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates.” In June, Alex Heath leaked the details of a companywide meeting where the app was shown off and shared the first glimpse at Threads.

Threads is “Instagram’s text-based conversation app” where “communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.” The app is closely tied to Instagram, meaning you’ll get to use the same username across both apps as well as quickly follow all of the accounts you’ve been following on Instagram.

  • Wes Davis

    Nov 20

    Wes Davis

    Joe Biden’s birthday gift to himself is a Threads account

    Joe Biden pointing at someone off-camera.
    Joe Biden arriving to pardon the National Thanksgiving turkeys on November 20, 2023.
    Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    US President Joe Biden signed up for a Threads account today, as did the White House, Vice President Kamala Harris, and the second gentleman, Douglas Emhoff.

    Biden’s first post on Meta’s X (formerly Twitter) competitor harkens back to his 2020 presidential victory speech with references to the country’s divisions and its current “inflection point.” Harris gestured to her travels throughout the US and her having met “over 100” world leaders, and Emhoff wrote about gender equity and “countering hate of all kinds.”

    Read Article >
  • Threads now works from a mobile web browser.

    A member of the Threads team just posted about it. I was able to log in from Chrome on iOS; on Safari, for some reason, I wasn’t. I’m assuming that whatever is going on there will be fixed sometime soon.

    And even though I’m running into that issue, I’m happy that using Threads through a mobile browser is an option at all. I’m weird: I like to log in to social media services through the mobile web instead of downloading an app.

  • Wes Davis

    Nov 16

    Wes Davis

    Threads is testing hashtags with a side of trending topics

    Three screenshots showing the new Threads topic tagging feature
    Threads is adding trending topics and hashtags.
    Image: Meta

    Mark Zuckerberg revealed Meta is testing a new tagging feature for Threads that’s like hashtags, but not exactly. Yes, you’ll use a hashtag to create or add to a topic’s conversation, but instead of showing up as a hashtagged word, Threads converts it to a blue-text hyperlink. Australian users will get the first crack at it in the initial “limited test” before it gets a wider release.

    Typing a “#” into the post text field brings up a card with the topic you’re tagging or other, similar ones. Underneath that, each of the topics comes with a count of posts about it, just like Instagram does.

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  • Threads now lets everyone pin posts.

    Like with X (formerly Twitter), you can pin a post to the top of your profile. But you can also pin a reply to one of your posts, which I think could be a really useful tool.

    Meta started testing the feature last month, and Instagram boss Adam Mosseri announced that pinned posts were live on Tuesday.

  • Adam Mosseri reiterated that Meta is not building DMs into Threads.

    Threads DMs seemed like a possibility after Jorge Caballero, who posts a lot about Threads features and updates as @datadrivenmd, shared a screenshot that seemed to show that some sort of DM setting was added to the app. But Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said Caballero is “likely” seeing that setting because of the way Threads is built on top of Instagram. “We’re not building DMs into Threads,” Mosseri said.

    While disappointing, this isn’t exactly a new position; when Threads launched in July, Mosseri told my colleague Alex Heath that “to start, we don’t want to do any DMs.”

  • Threads finally lets you delete your account separately from Instagram

    An image showing the Threads logo
    Image: The Verge

    Meta is rolling out a way for you to delete your Threads profile without having to delete your Instagram account, too. You’ll be able to access the new feature from the settings menu in a new “Delete or Deactivate Profile” section, according to a post from Instagram boss Adam Mosseri. I don’t have the feature yet myself, but I suspect Meta will make it available to everyone soon enough.

    This new ability to delete just your Threads profile addresses an early complaint with the app, which currently requires that you sign up with an Instagram account. However, shortly after the app’s launch, Mosseri said the company was “looking into” a way to be able to delete a Threads account on its own. (And if you don’t want to permanently delete your Threads profile, you can always deactivate it.)

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  • Hashtags on Threads?

    They’re apparently in the works, as shown in this screenshot on X shared by app feature-finder Alessandro Paluzzi. In the screenshot, it appears that the word “Threads” is hyperlinked, so maybe you’ll link to individual words or phrases instead of dropping a #hashtag in your post.

    Paluzzi also shared a screenshot that indicates Meta is prepping to release Threads in Europe. On Threads itself, there’s some chatter that DMs may be added soon.

    We’ve asked Meta about if or when these potential features may be released.

  • Wes Davis

    Nov 12

    Wes Davis

    Threads users can keep their posts off Instagram and Facebook now

    Illustration of the Threads app logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    Many Threads users are now saying they have the ability to opt out of having their posts shown on Instagram and Facebook. To keep Threads posts from showing up Meta’s other platforms, tap the two lines in the top right of the Threads app > Privacy > Suggesting posts on other apps — two switches let users turn off suggestions on Instagram or Facebook. Meta tends to roll out Threads features slowly, so if you don’t see the new toggles yet, give it time.

    Instagram and Facebook each got a “For you on Threads” carousel in the last few months. Responding to user grumpiness, Threads said in October it was “listening to feedback” shortly before testing the opt-out switch that’s rolling out now.

    Read Article >
  • Threads on the web is getting better.

    Instagram chief Adam Mosseri shared some nice smaller features you can take advantage of on Threads on the web, including the ability to tweak alt text on photos and videos. Still waiting on ActivityPub integration, but I’ll take these nice improvements in the meantime.

  • The Threads team is seeking input on a potential content publishing API.

    A good content publishing API might make it a lot easier to convince publishers to post things on Threads. And maybe we’ll get some fun bots?

    If you have ideas, send them to the team on Threads.

  • Threads posts don’t have to show up on Instagram and Facebook

    An image showing the Threads logo
    Image: The Verge

    If you don’t like the idea of your Threads posts popping up on other users’ Instagram and Facebook feeds, Meta may soon add a way to stop this. As spotted by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, Threads appears to be working on a new privacy setting, titled “Suggesting posts on other apps.”

    From what it looks like, the setting will let you prevent Threads from recommending your posts on Instagram, Facebook, or both. Currently, Meta may suggest your Threads posts to other users on either platform if you have a public profile, which is why you might have noticed carousels of Threads posts sandwiched within your Facebook and Instagram feeds lately.

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  • Wes Davis

    Oct 28

    Wes Davis

    Threads third-party app support could become a reality

    An image showing the Threads logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said in a reply on Threads last night that his team is working on an API for Threads, despite concern that it would help publishers push content more than it would creators. TechCrunch spotted his reply in a thread in which Platformer’s Casey Newton told another user the lack of a developer API is why Threads has no TweetDeck equivalent.

    If the API is robust enough, it could open the platform up to new ideas, expressed through third-party apps and web experiences, about how to actually interact with Threads or view its content. It could also add features that Threads is missing right now, like lists or the ability to follow specific topics.

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  • Meta is testing view counts and pinned posts on Threads.

    The view counts are interesting to me, especially given that the platform formerly known as Twitter launched them in late 2022. “View counts are interesting as I think if we were shipping Instagram, or Facebook, today, we would probably have them,” Mosseri added. “They give people a better sense of their reach, and generally more feedback is a good thing.”

    Meta announced the rollout of polls and GIFs on Threads earlier on Thursday.

  • Threads is adding polls and GIFs as it continues to chase X

    An image showing the Threads logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    Meta is going to let you make polls and insert GIFs right from the Threads post composer, the company announced on Thursday. Later in the day, Instagram head Adam Mosseri revealed that the company is testing view counts on Threads posts and pinned posts on profiles and in your replies.

    The polls and GIFs features are now rolling out, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated by making a post with a GIF and another post with a poll. They’re small additions, but they’re features you have been able to do on X (formerly Twitter) for a very long time.

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  • Zuckerberg says Threads has almost 100 million monthly users

    Mark Zuckerberg onstage at Meta Connect 2023.
    Mark Zuckerberg.
    Image: Meta

    The rumors of Threads’ early demise have been exaggerated.

    Meta’s competitor to Elon Musk’s X has hit “just under” 100 million monthly users since it was released in early July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday during his company’s quarterly earnings call.

    Read Article >
  • If you don’t like seeing Threads posts on Instagram and Facebook, Meta says it’s “listening to feedback.”

    That said, Meta has eyes on making Threads a billion-user social network, so I think we might just have to get used to seeing Threads posts in other Meta apps.

  • More good new Threads features.

    If you tap and hold on a post with a bunch of tagged people on the Threads mobile app, you’ll see a menu where you can follow everyone that’s mentioned, as shared by Instagram head Adam Mosseri. Handy!

    You can also copy and paste media attachments when you’re crafting a Threads post on the web.

  • So is Threads into news or not?

    Meta’s incomplete answers about news on Threads are coming up again due to recent events and how things are (increasingly not) working on the platform formerly known as Twitter. In a response to The Verge’s Mia Sato today after that edit button-adding update, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said it “won’t proactively recommend news content to people who don’t seek it out.”

  • Threads just got an edit button, but an edit history isn’t in the cards right now.

    Meta spokesperson Christine Pai just confirmed to me that the company currently doesn’t have plans to offer an edit history for its newly-added edit feature.

    I’m disappointed that’s the case; edit histories, which you can find on other services like X / Twitter and iMessage, are really useful!

  • Threads is getting an edit button — and you don’t have to pay for it

    An image showing the Threads logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    Meta is starting to roll out an edit feature and “Voice Threads” for its Threads platform, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday. They’re two major new features for Meta’s burgeoning X-like social network — and unlike on X (formerly Twitter), you won’t need to pay a subscription fee to be able to edit your posts for five minutes after they’re published.

    Posts that are edited will have a little icon next to the timestamp showing that they’ve been revised. You aren’t be able to see an edit history — that’s one advantage X still has over Threads — and Meta spokesperson currently doesn’t have plans to add one, Christine Pai tells The Verge.

    Read Article >
  • Jay Powell influencer arc?

    Well, this video is weirdly hypnotic. I think I watched it four times in a row? Anyway, uh, the Fed’s on Instagram and Threads.

  • Instagram’s current leader asks a question of its co-founder.

    Adam Mosseri asked about Artifact supporting publishers in a post on Threads — so my colleague Alex Heath asked him in an audience question.

    “We’ve tried to come at this from a publisher friendly perspective,” Mike Krieger said. Artifact thrives if the publisher ecosystem “is healthy and thriving,” so that approach is a long-term play.

    “It’s about recognizing what needs to exist several years from now for you to have a viable product,” Krieger said

  • Meta says Threads account deletion is coming this year.

    Soon after Meta’s Instagram-based Twitter competitor launched, some of the millions of people who activated Threads noticed a small issue. Once you create an account on Threads, the only way to delete it is to delete your Instagram account, too.

    However, Meta chief privacy officer Michel Protti said during the TechCrunch Disrupt event that Meta will launch individual deletion for Threads accounts by December. Another situation it’s working on handling is fediverse support for situations like “what happens when a Threads post goes to another server and is then deleted by the author.”

  • Emma Roth

    Sep 26

    Emma Roth

    Threads is struggling to retain users — but it could still catch up to X

    An image showing the Threads logo
    Image: The Verge

    Threads, Instagram’s X (formerly Twitter) competitor, is struggling to keep users around following its blockbuster launch, according to data from Insider Intelligence. The data, which was first reported on by CNBC, suggests that Threads will have far fewer monthly active users than Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok by the end of this year, but it may still have a chance to close the gap with X.

    Insider Intelligence indicates that Threads will have 23.7 million active monthly users in the US by the end of 2023. That’s far fewer than what’s expected for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, which Insider Intelligence says could have 177.9 million, 135.2 million, and 102.3 million respective US active monthly users by the end of 2023.

    Read Article >
  • Threads might be getting an edit button soon

    An image showing the Threads logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    Meta’s in-development edit button for Threads might let you edit posts within five minutes of publishing them, as reported by developer Alessandro Paluzzi on X (formerly Twitter). Instagram chief Adam Mosseri confirmed shortly after the app’s July launch that an edit button was on the list of potential features, and now that Paluzzi has discovered some details about it, perhaps the feature will be available more widely sometime soon.

    An edit button is one of the things I think Threads is missing most, so I’m happy to see this shred of evidence that Meta might be closer to actually launching it. Meta didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment when I asked for details about potential timing, but I’m also optimistic that we’ll see the edit button sooner rather than later. In the couple months since the app’s launch, Meta has knocked out low-hanging fruit like a following feed, a web client, and the ability to search for posts.

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